Interested, he talked to a counselor to learn more about P-TECH, an early college program where he could earn an associate’s degree along with his high school diploma. Liking the sound of the program, he enrolled in the inaugural P-TECH class as a freshman at Longmont’s Skyline High School.
“I really loved working on computers, even before P-TECH,” he said. “I was a hobbyist. P-TECH gave me a pathway.”
IBM hired him as a cybersecurity analyst once he completed the apprenticeship.
“P-TECH has given me a great advantage,” he said. “Without it, I would have been questioning whether to go into college. Having a college degree at 18 is great to put on a resume.”
Litow’s idea was to get more underrepresented young people into tech careers by giving them a direct path to college while in high school — and in turn create a pipeline of employees with the job skills businesses were starting to value over four-year college degrees.
The program, which includes mentors and internships provided by business partners, gives high school students up to six years to earn an associate's degree at no cost.
In Colorado, St. Vrain Valley was among the first school districts chosen by the state to offer a P-TECH program after the Legislature passed a bill to provide funding — and the school district has embraced the program.
Colorado’s first P-TECH programs started in the fall of 2016 at three high schools, including Skyline High. Over the last six years, 17 more Colorado high schools have adopted P-TECH, for at total of 20. Three of those are in St. Vrain Valley, with a fourth planned to open in the fall of 2023 at Longmont High School.
Each St. Vrain Valley high school offers a different focus supported by different industry partners.
Skyline partners with IBM, with students earning an associate’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Front Range. Along with being the first, Skyline’s program is the largest, enrolling up to 55 new freshmen each year.
Programs at the other schools are capped at 35 students per grade.
Frederick High’s program, which started in the fall of 2019, has a bioscience focus, partners with Aims Community College and works with industry partners Agilent Technologies, Tolmar, KBI Biopharma, AGC Biologics and Corden Pharma.
Silver Creek High’s program started a year ago with a cybersecurity focus. The Longmont school partners with Front Range and works with industry partners Seagate, Cisco, PEAK Resources and Comcast.
The new program coming to Longmont High will focus on business.
District leaders point to Skyline High’s graduation statistics to illustrate the program’s success. At Skyline, 100 percent of students in the first three P-TECH graduating classes earned a high school diploma in four years.
For the 2020 Skyline P-TECH graduates, 24 of the 33, or about 70 percent, also earned associate’s degrees. For the 2021 graduating class, 30 of the 47 have associate’s degrees — with one year left for those students to complete the college requirements.
For the most recent 2022 graduates, who have two years left to complete the college requirements, 19 of 59 have associate’s degrees and another six are on track to earn their degrees by the end of the summer.
Louise March, Skyline High’s P-TECH counselor, keeps in touch with the graduates, saying 27 are working part time or full time at IBM. About a third are continuing their education at a four year college. Of the 19 who graduated in 2022 with an associate’s degree, 17 are enrolling at a four year college, she said.
Two of those 2022 graduates are Anahi Sarmiento, who is headed to the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business, and Jose Ivarra, who will study computer science at Colorado State University.
“I’m the oldest out of three siblings,” Ivarra said. “When you hear that someone wants to provide you free college in high school, you take it. I jumped at the opportunity.”
Sarmiento added that her parents, who are immigrants, are already working two jobs and don’t have extra money for college costs.
“P-TECH is pushing me forward,” she said. “I know my parents want me to have a better life, but I want them to have a better life, too. Going into high school, I kept that mentality that I would push myself to my full potential. It kept me motivated.”
While the program requires hard work, the two graduates said, they still enjoyed high school and had outside interests. Ivarra was a varsity football player who was named player of the year. Sarmiento took advantage of multiple opportunities, from helping elementary students learn robotics to working at the district’s Innovation Center.
Ivarra said he likes that P-TECH has the same high expectations for all students, no matter their backgrounds, and gives them support in any areas where they need help. Spanish is his first language and, while math came naturally, language arts was more challenging.
“It was tough for me to see all these classmates use all these big words, and I didn’t know them,” he said. “I just felt less. When I went into P-TECH, the teachers focus on you so much, checking on every single student.”
They said it’s OK to struggle or even fail. Ivarra said he failed a tough class during the pandemic, but was able to retake it and passed. Both credited March, their counselor, with providing unending support as they navigated high school and college classes.
“She’s always there for you,” Sarmiento said. “It’s hard to be on top of everything. You have someone to go to.”
Students also supported each other.
“You build bonds,” Ivarra said. “You’re all trying to figure out these classes. You grow together. It’s a bunch of people who want to succeed. The people that surround you in P-TECH, they push you to be better.”
P-TECH has no entrance requirements or prerequisite classes. You don’t need to be a top student, have taken advanced math or have a background in technology.
With students starting the rigorous program with a wide range of skills, teachers and counselors said, they quickly figured out the program needed stronger support systems.
March said freshmen in the first P-TECH class struggled that first semester, prompting the creation of a guided study class. The every other day, hour-and-a-half class includes both study time and time to learn workplace skills, including writing a resume and interviewing. Teachers also offer tutoring twice a week after school.
“The guided study has become crucial to the success of the program,” March said.
Another way P-TECH provides extra support is through summer orientation programs for incoming freshmen.
At Skyline, ninth graders take a three-week bridge class — worth half a credit — that includes learning good study habits. They also meet IBM mentors and take a field trip to Front Range Community College.
“They get their college ID before they get their high school ID,” March said.
During a session in June, 15 IBM mentors helped the students program a Sphero robot to travel along different track configurations. Kathleen Schuster, who has volunteered as an IBM mentor since the P-TECH program started here, said she wants to “return some of the favors I got when I was younger.”
“Even this play stuff with the Spheros, it’s teaching them teamwork and a little computing,” she said. “Hopefully, through P-TECH, they will learn what it takes to work in a tech job.”
Incoming Skyline freshman Blake Baker said he found a passion for programming at Trail Ridge Middle and saw P-TECH as a way to capitalize on that passion.
“I really love that they provide you options and a path,” he said.
Trail Ridge classmate Itzel Pereyra, another programming enthusiast, heard about P-TECH from her older brother.
“It’s really good for my future,” she said. “It’s an exciting moment, starting the program. It will just help you with everything.”
While some of the incoming ninth graders shared dreams of technology careers, others see P-TECH as a good foundation to pursue other dreams.
Skyline incoming ninth grader Marisol Sanchez wants to become a traveling nurse, demonstrating technology and new skills to other nurses. She added that the summer orientation sessions are a good introduction, helping calm the nerves that accompany combining high school and college.
“There’s a lot of team building,” she said. “It’s getting us all stronger together as a group and introducing everyone.”
Silver Creek’s June camp for incoming ninth graders included field trips to visit Cisco, Seagate, PEAK Resources, Comcast and Front Range Community College.
During the Front Range Community College field trip, the students heard from Front Range staff members before going on a scavenger hunt. Groups took photos to prove they completed tasks, snapping pictures of ceramic pieces near the art rooms, the most expensive tech product for sale in the bookstore and administrative offices across the street from the main building.
Emma Horton, an incoming freshman, took a cybersecurity class as a Flagstaff Academy eighth grader that hooked her on the idea of technology as a career.
“I’m really excited about the experience I will be getting in P-TECH,’ she said. “I’ve never been super motivated in school, but with something I’m really interested in, it becomes easier.”
Deb Craven, dean of instruction at Front Range’s Boulder County campus, promised the Silver Creek students that the college would support them. She also gave them some advice.
“You need to advocate and ask for help,” she said. “These two things are going to help you the most. Be present, be engaged, work together and lean on each other.”
Craven, who oversees Front Range’s P-TECH program partnership, said Front Range leaders toured the original P-TECH program in New York along with St. Vrain and IBM leaders in preparation for bringing P-TECH here.
“Having IBM as a partner as we started the program was really helpful,” she said.
When the program began, she said, freshmen took a more advanced technology class as their first college class. Now, she said, they start with a more fundamental class in the spring of their freshman year, learning how to build a computer.
“These guys have a chance to grow into the high school environment before we stick them in a college class,” she said.
Summer opportunities aren’t just for P-TECH’s freshmen. Along with summer internships, the schools and community colleges offer summer classes.
Silver Creek incoming 10th graders, for example, could take a personal financial literacy class at Silver Creek in the mornings and an introduction to cybersecurity class at the Innovation Center in the afternoons in June.
Over at Skyline, incoming 10th graders in P-TECH are getting paid to teach STEM lessons to elementary students while earning high school credit. Students in the fifth or sixth year of the program also had the option of taking computer science and algebra classes at Front Range.
And at Frederick, incoming juniors are taking an introduction to manufacturing class at the district's Career Elevation and Technology Center this month in preparation for an advanced manufacturing class they’re taking in the fall.
“This will provide them a head start for the fall,” said instructor Chester Clark.
Incoming Frederick junior Destini Johnson said she’s not sure what she wants to do after high school, but believes the opportunities offered by P-TECH will prepare her for the future.
“I wanted to try something challenging, and getting a head start on college can only help,” she said. “It’s really incredible that I’m already halfway done with an associate’s degree and high school.”
IBM P-TECH program manager Tracy Knick, who has worked with the Skyline High program for three years, said it takes a strong commitment from all the partners — the school district, IBM and Front Range — to make the program work.
“It’s not an easy model,” she said. “When you say there are no entrance requirements, we all have to be OK with that and support the students to be successful.”
IBM hosted 60 St. Vrain interns this summer, while two Skyline students work as IBM “co-ops” — a national program — to assist with the P-TECH program.
The company hosts two to four formal events for the students each year to work on professional and technical skills, while IBM mentors provide tutoring in algebra. During the pandemic, IBM also paid for subscriptions to tutor.com so students could get immediate help while taking online classes.
“We want to get them truly workforce ready,” Knick said. “They’re not IBM-only skills we’re teaching. Even though they choose a pathway, they can really do anything.”
As the program continues to expand in the district, she said, her wish is for more businesses to recognize the value of P-TECH.
“These students have had intensive training on professional skills,” she said. “They have taken college classes enhanced with the same digital credentials that an IBM employee can learn. There should be a waiting list of employers for these really talented and skilled young professionals.”
©2022 the Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Gurugram (Haryana) [India], July 30 (ANI/NewsVoir): Edology has announced a partnership with IBM, one of the world's top leading and reputed corporations, to introduce its Post Graduate Certificate Program in Data Science for working professionals and everyone wanting to enter the field of Data Science. Developed by IBM inventors and experts who hold numerous patents in the field of Data Science, this is the first IBM programme that has been completely designed by IBM and is being delivered by its faculty.
"The programme for the Edology x IBM Data Science course is a very special offering from IBM, and this is one-of-a-kind initiative," according to Hari Ramasubramanian, Leader, Business Development and Academia Relationships, IBM Expert Labs, India/South Asia. He further added, "There is a strong demand for skilled technology and trained professionals across the industry. Data science is not confined to IT. It includes all the verticals one can imagine-from board meetings to sports, data science brings a lot of value to organizations worldwide. For students, as well as professionals with experience, if you want to fast track your career on to the next level, this is the course you should be doing."
"The IBM Data Science certificate program through the Edology platform, will equip to adapt to the dynamics in the industry and drive technology innovation," said, Vithal Madyalkar, Program Director, IBM Innovation Centre for Education, India/South Asia. "The Data Science course modules will provide deep practical knowledge, coupled with broad-based industry alignment, interaction, talent discoverability as well as excellence in their professional practice."
A global Ed-Tech company, Edology helps students and professionals all around the world advance their careers in a variety of subjects, including data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cyber security, and more.
Unique Offerings of the IBM x Edology PG Certificate Programme in Data Science:
- 100+ hours of Live classes by IBM experts
- Globally recognized IBM digital badge
- Job opportunities with 300+ corporate partners
- Edology-IBM Award for Top Performers
- 1 on 1 mentorship from industry experts
- 1 day networking session with IBM team
- Guaranteed interview with IBM for top performers in each cohort
- Dedicated career assistance team
Sumanth Palepu, the Business Head at Edology, states, "Statistical estimates reveal that the worldwide market size for Data Science and analytics is anticipated to reach around a whopping $450 billion by 2025, which also means that the rivalry would be quite severe at the employee level, the competition will be very fierce. Thus, this collaboration with IBM is now more essential than ever, so that we are collectively able to deliver advanced level teaching to the students and working professionals and they get first-hand industry knowledge with our IBM experts."
Edology is a Global Ed-Tech Brand that provides industry-powered education and skills to students and professionals across the world, to help them achieve fast-track career growth. Launched in 2017, Edology connects professionals from across the globe with higher education programmes in the fields of law, finance, accounting, business, computing, marketing, fashion, criminology, psychology, and more.
It's a part of Global University Systems (GUS), an international network of higher-education institutions, brought together by a shared passion of providing industry-driven global education accessible and affordable. All the programs of Edology are built with the objective of providing its learners career enhancement and strong CV credentials, along with a quality learning experience.
The courses offered by Edology include Data Science, Certification in AI and Machine Learning, Data Analytics, PGP in International Business, PGP in Renewable Energy Management, PGP in Oil and Gas Management among others. These offerings are done through hands-on industry projects, interactive live classes, global peer-to-peer learning and other facilities.
This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)
By Abbey Slattery, WRAL Digital Solutions
This article was written for our sponsor, Watauga County Economic Development Commission.
With major companies like Red Hat, Amazon and IBM moving into the Triangle area, central North Carolina is a well-known hot spot for tech.
But as more people are able to work flexibly, some of that tech talent is migrating to the mountains.
For Robert Huddleston, the tech surge has been years in the making. He is CEO of tech company Avoda Group and coworking space Boone Underground and an Appalachian State graduate.
“After we moved Avoda Group here around four years ago, it became really clear that we needed a space to be able to host internships and to provide meetups. I had spent a lot of time in coworking spaces back in Raleigh, and I knew we needed something like that in Boone in order to grow,” said Huddleston. “We built this high-tech, modern space at Boone Underground to host these sorts of things — and believe it or not, probably half of the members are transplants from Raleigh.”
While there is a multi-million dollar project in the works to expand broadband access, Boone Underground currently offers high-speed fiber connections to all members. The coworking space is also open 24/7, has a coffee bar and snacks and offers conference rooms for larger meetings.
COVID put a pause on some boot camps and meetups, but Huddleston plans to see those pick up soon. In doing so, he also hopes to provide more local opportunities to App State students.
“Our focus at Avoda Group is all around cloud technology, so these boot camps would be around technologies like Amazon's AWS, Microsoft’s Azure, Google's cloud platform — skills that are really needed right now, but trying to find avenues for learning them can be challenging,” said Huddleston. “At Avoda Group one of our goals is to hire more people, so we have a program where we take interns in from App State, we train them, get them certified, and if they're good, we provide them jobs. We actually had an intern who converted to a full-time employee and got certified in cloud skills during COVID.”
“We had heard this resounding statement over and over again that these students at App State wanted to stay in the area, but they couldn't,” he finished. “What we're trying to do is bring new tech and high tech and encourage the students to stay.”
Another tech company in the area, ECRS, has similar plans.
A point-of-sale provider that’s been located in Boone for over 30 years, ECRS started with local customers and has grown to provide services to companies in Canada, South America and everywhere in between.
“We have a significant presence at this point, but we're still in Boone because it’s a beautiful place to live, and it's been a really great place to grow the business,” said Caroline Catoe, president of ECRS.
“We hope to make it more known that it's an attractive place for people with technology backgrounds to live and raise families. We do a lot of recruitment off the mountain, in the Raleigh-Durham area. We want to get the word out that there are technology companies in this area, and that there's opportunity here for a tech career.”
Right now, ECRS is filling over a dozen jobs, and Catoe plans to see that growth continue as tech grows in the Boone area.
For Huddleston, Boone Underground has the potential to play a significant role in growing the local tech workforce.
“I'd like to see us hire more students and get them to stay here, and we also have the hope that Boone Underground can double in size. I want to build out one of the first cloud firms here in the High Country, and try to partner more with the university and community college in order to help students get their certifications in cloud technologies from us,” said Huddleston. “We hope to see Boone Underground serve as a launching platform for tech careers.”
This article was written for our sponsor, Watauga County Economic Development Commission.
I believe that the last two decades in enterprise computing has been the prequel to the main act to follow. In this main act, the winners will be enterprises willing to change, to question everything, to leverage the latest in digital innovation to scale the impact of AI, Hybrid Cloud and automation on every aspect of their business.
The Covid pandemic disrupted business-as-usual for most companies, and several spined to digital technology, containing AI, to sustain operations. Earlier this year, IBM launched a study that revealed the size of the AI skills gap across Europe that found the tech sector is struggling to find employees with adequate AI knowledge or experience. The research found nearly 7 in 10 tech job seekers and tech employees believe that potential recruits lack the skills necessary for a career in AI. The impact of this deficit has the potential to stifle digital innovation and hold back economic growth.
Mind the gap
The IBM report, ‘Addressing the AI Skills Gap in Europe’, exposed a worrying shortfall in skills required for a career in AI. Although technical capabilities are vital for a career in the sector, problem solving is considered the most critical soft skill needed for tech roles among all survey participants (up to 37%). However, around a quarter of tech recruiters (23%) have difficulty finding applicants with this aptitude along with shortfalls in critical and strategic thinking. Along with soft skills, 40% of tech job seekers and employees noted that software engineering and knowledge of programming languages are the most important technical capabilities for the AI/tech workforce to have.
How to address the issue
As AI moves into the mainstream, specialist tech staff are working more closely than ever with business managers. In order to secure the best possible outcomes, the soft skills of interpersonal communication, strategic problem solving, and critical thinking are required across all disciplines to help ensure the most beneficial personal interactions. Demonstrating these skills can greatly Excellerate employability and career developments in AI.
The report showed that offering education and skills training is seen as a top priority for many companies looking to Excellerate AI recruitment in the future. As a result, IBM have already taken proactive steps to help applicants and employees enhance their AI skills.
IBM launched IBM SkillsBuild, which brings together two world-class, skills-based learning programs—"Open P-TECH" and "SkillsBuild"—under one umbrella. Through the program, students, educators, job seekers, and the organisations that support them have access to free digital learning, resources, and support focused on the core technology and workplace skills needed to succeed in jobs. SkillsBuild is a free programme which contains an AI skills module for secondary education students and adults seeking entry-level employment.
Further concerted effort
A great deal remains to be done to solve this skills gap. However, I believe we can agree that a solution is achievable. What’s required now is for industry, government and academia to work together to put existing ideas into practice and to think of new ways to solve the challenge. At the start of the year, the DCMS announced £23 million of government funding to create 2,000 scholarships in AI and data science in England. The new scholarships from this funding will ensure more people can build successful careers in AI, create and develop new and bigger businesses, and will Excellerate the diversity of this growing and innovative sector. I hope to see further investment and programs such as ours with SkillsBuild as key drivers in change. Finding solutions and initiatives such as these will ensure we are providing a significant boost for the UK while providing a rewarding career for many.
This article was authored by Sreeram Visvanathan, Chief Executive of IBM UK and Ireland
When Lou Gerstner became the CEO of IBM in 1993, he had never worked for a technology company, and IBM was in big trouble: competitors like Microsoft, Dell, and Compaq were eating up market share. Gerstner took the challenge head-on by reimagining IBM's structure and culture, and eventually helped IBM reclaim its position as a dominant force in the tech industry.
A new research center for artificial intelligence and machine learning has sprung up at the University of Oregon, thanks to a collaboration between IBM and the Oregon Advanced Computing Institute for Science and Society. The Oregon Center for Enterprise AI eXchange (CE-AIX) leverages the university's high-performance computing technology and enterprise servers from IBM to create new training opportunities and collaborations with industry.
"The new lab facility will be a valuable resource for worldwide universities and enterprise companies wanting to take advantage of IBM Enterprise Servers POWER9 and POWER10 combined with IBM Spectrum storage, along with AIX and RHEL with OpenShift," said Ganesan Narayanasamy, IBM's leader for academic and research worldwide.
Narayanasamy said the new center extends state-of-the-art facilities and other Silicon Valley-style services to researchers, system developers, and other users looking to take advantage of open-source high-performance computing resources. The center has already helped thousands of students gain exposure and practice with its high-performance computing training, and it is expected to serve as a global hub that will help prepare the next generation of computer scientists, according to the center's director Sameer Shende.
"We aim to expand the skillset of researchers and students in the area of commercial application of artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as high-performance computing technologies," Shende said.
Thanks to a long-term loan agreement with IBM, the center has access to powerful enterprise servers and other capabilities. It was envisioned to bring together data scientists from businesses in different domains, such as financial services, manufacturing, and transportation, along with IBM research and development engineers, IBM partner data scientists, and university students and researchers.
The new center also has the potential to be leveraged by everyone from global transportation companies seeking to design more efficient trucking routes to clean energy firms looking to design better wind turbines based on models of airflow patterns. At the University of Oregon, there are potential applications in data science, machine learning, environmental hazards monitoring, and other emerging areas of research and innovation.
"Enterprise AI is a team sport," said Raj Krishnamurthy, an IBM chief architect for enterprise AI and co-director of the new center. "As businesses continue to operationalize AI in mission-critical systems, the use cases and methodologies developed from collaboration in this center will further promote the adoption of trusted AI techniques in the enterprise."
Ultimately, the center will contribute to the University of Oregon's overall research excellence, said AR Razdan, who serves as the university's vice president for research and innovation.
"The center marks another great step forward in [the university's] ongoing efforts to bring together interdisciplinary teams of researchers and innovators," Razdan said.
This post was created by IBM with Insider Studios.
Vista 2022, the business summit organized by students of the two-year MBA programme at IIM Bangalore on 6th and 7th August, celebrated the theme, ‘Dream, Dare, Deliver’, and focused on capturing the evolving nature of businesses. Competitions, events, workshops and panel discussions with industry leaders, entrepreneurs and personalities from the world of cinema, music, sports and media, marked the fest.
One of the highlights of the fest was the technology panel discussion on 7th August. The panel comprised Ganesan Ramachandran, Managing Director of Tech Strategy and Advisory at Accenture Strategy and Consulting, and Amit Sharma, Managing Partner of Global Delivery at IBM Consulting. The panelists discussed the latest technologies ranging from Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence to Blockchain, Metaverse, Quantum Computing and more and their impact on businesses, and how sustainability is under scrutiny due to them. They added that business needs drive the emergence of such technologies. In the current scenario, they believe, all business models need to be supported by the latest technologies and should have a good Technology Quotient and Sustainability Quotient to succeed.
In conversation with Dr. Gaurav Jakhu, faculty from the Economics & Social Sciences area at IIMB, Ashok Kumar Gupta, Chairperson, Competition Commission of India (CCI), shared his thoughts on the prevailing competition policy and its implications in the changing business environment.
Ravi Venkatesan, Board Chair for the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) was in conversation with Dr. Rishikesha T Krishnan, Director of IIMB and Professor of Strategy, on how to succeed in turbulent times.
A panel from the World Bank addressed social responses to crises and observed that such responses require multi directional analysis and coordination between government and businesses.
In his talk, which was part of the Elite Speaker Series, Peyush Bansal, Co-founder and CEO of Lenskart, and alumnus of IIMB, emphasized the importance of incorporating sustainability in business. He also talked about how upcoming business leaders need to prepare for future obstacles and challenges.
Paroksh Chawla, CEO, ITW Catalyst, Nikhil Vyas, Co-founder and CEO, ITW MediaWorx and Joshey John, Director and Head of Sales, ITW Universe, spoke on the changing landscape of sports marketing and the evolution of sponsorship. They also their views on current trends of Fantasy Sports and Sports in Metaverse.
Vista 2022 closed with a discussion featuring actor Boman Irani, Prof. Sourav Mukherji, Dean Alumni Relations and Development and faculty in the OB&HRM area at IIMB and Porf. S Raghunath on “Why Career is Not a Race”. Boman Irani’s advice to students: “Pace yourself; don’t be in a hurry”.
The ceremony concluded with an address by Prof. R. Srinivasan, Chairperson, Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) at IIMB and faculty in the Strategy area, and Poorva Singh, secretary, Vista 2022.